Report from today

Today’s clinic was at Wangulu. Where do I begin to describe this day? It started off with a sad case in which a young man carried his very ill father in. This man was barely conscious, dying from cancer. We all know death is a fact of life in every country but what impacted us all was how the son carried his father in gently, held him in his arms and requested care for him. The only thing we could do was transport him to the hospital where he was admitted to die in comfort and dignity. One nurse actually described this as the most touching experience she had seen since she has been here and I agree with her. We had two more hospital transports – a child with acute malaria and a diabetic with extremely high blood sugar. We also saw a young girl who came in with a caregiver due to second and third degree burns on both arms and scalp from a fire in March. When asked the reason for attending clinic today he stated “she jumps in the night” (through translation). We learned she had been burned in a house fire in which her sibling had died. The poor child was obviously traumatized by the event. Becca did a great job of dressing the remaining wounds and health teaching about exercises to do to prevent contractures. Thanks to those in Saskatchewan, one of the stuffed bears we brought helped the child through this dressing change. On a happy note we had a visit from a Humphrey who came to our clinic in October in a wheelbarrow due to a badly infected foot. We had taken him to the hospital, providing the fees for his two week admission. You will see the picture attached in which he walked in smiling and very pleased with his recovery. So you see we have our ups and downs at the clinics. Working together with a strong team helps us to get through these times. We have many support people who are essential to what we do. Jeff and Evans are our drivers. Jeff has been responsible for taking charge of Madeline’s glasses clinic from last year. He takes great pride in ensuring people receive the proper glasses as you’ll see by the picture. So far he has fitted over 100 pairs of reading glasses! Evans helps with deworming and Jerry, who has been with us for many years, is now doing our registration. You will also see Johnstone in our pictures. He is responsible for the jiggers program and continues this throughout the year after we leave. These individuals are caring, committed people to our program and take their roles seriously. Our purpose here is not only to provide care to those attending our clinics but to establish relationships to build and empower communities. As quoted by Gail “one of the things that I’ve noticed over the years here is the human potential that is rarely recognized as there is little opportunity. Given a chance, these people are phenomenal.” On that note I will mention that our team provided care to 798 patients today, dewormed 50 children, dressed 13 wounds, treated 26 jiggers patients, and held a sexual health class for 40 young women. Off to bed with my pet gecko!

Leave a Reply